Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

New River Shopping Center, LLC v. Villenurve

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

February 1, 2018

NEW RIVER SHOPPING CENTER, LLC.
v.
VIVIAN G. VILLENURVE AND MARGARET C. KERNAN

          RULING

          SHELLY D. DICK JUDGE.

         The matter before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) filed by Defendants, Vivian G. Villenurve and Margaret C. Kernan (“Defendants”).[1] The Plaintiff, New River Shopping Center, LLC. (“New River” or “Plaintiff”) has filed an Opposition.[2] For the following reasons, Defendants' motion will be DENIED.

         I. PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL HISTORY[3]

         On May 1, 2017, New River filed a Complaint[4] seeking an emergency motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction because the Defendants allegedly breached their lease agreement on immovable property located in Ascension Parish, Louisiana.[5] New River also prayed for the entry of a permanent injunction following a trial on the merits. Defendants filed the present Motion to Dismiss on May 2, 2017.[6] The Court denied New River's emergency motion for temporary restraining order in a Ruling issued on May 5, 2017.[7] The Court conducted a hearing on New River's Motion for Preliminary Injunction on May 11, 2017, [8] following which, New River's Motion for Preliminary Injunction[9] was denied.

         While the subject Motion was pending, the Defendants filed a “Rule to Show Cause Why Possession Should Not be Delivered in Docket No. 118, 875, ” in the 23rd Judicial District Court of Ascension Parish, Louisiana, [10] which was removed to this Court and assigned docket number 3:17-cv-00303.[11] New River met the claims asserted in 3:17cv00303 with a Motion for Summary Judgment.[12] New River's Motion for Summary Judgment remains pending. Defendants' pending motion asks the Court to dismiss New River's Complaint because, “[Plaintiff] has failed to establish that it is entitled to a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction.”[13] Given that the Court has denied New River's motion for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction the only salient portion of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss pertains to New River's motion for permanent injunction. Defendants' move for dismissal under 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6).

         II. LAW AND ANALYSIS

         A. Motion to Dismiss Under Rule 12(b)(6)

         When deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, “[t]he ‘court accepts all well- pleaded facts as true, viewing them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.'”[14] The Court may consider “the complaint, its proper attachments, documents incorporated into the complaint by reference, and matters of which a court may take judicial notice.”[15] “To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must plead ‘enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”[16] In Twombly, the United States Supreme Court set forth the basic criteria necessary for a complaint to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. “While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.”[17] A complaint is also insufficient if it merely “tenders ‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual enhancement.'”[18] However, “[a] claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads the factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”[19] In order to satisfy the plausibility standard, the plaintiff must show “more than a sheer possibility that the defendant has acted unlawfully.”[20] “Furthermore, while the court must accept well-pleaded facts as true, it will not ‘strain to find inferences favorable to the plaintiff.'”[21] On a motion to dismiss, courts “are not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.”[22]

         B. Motion to Dismiss Under Rule 12(b)(1)

         “A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) is analyzed under the same standard as a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6).”[23] Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a complaint is subject to dismissal if a plaintiff fails “to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” “To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must plead ‘enough facts to state a claim relief that is plausible on its face.'”[24]However, when ruling on a Rule 12(b)(1) motion, “the court is permitted to look at evidence in the record beyond simply those facts alleged in the complaint and its proper attachments.”[25] Ultimately, a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction should be granted only if it appears certain that the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle plaintiff to relief.”[26]

         C. Defendants' 12(b)(1) Argument

         The Defendants argue that New River's petition for permanent injunction is an attempt to “defeat a summary action for eviction by injection foreign issues in an effort to convert a summary proceeding to an ordinary proceeding.”[27] Defendants, citing no controlling jurisprudence, further aver that “many federal counts choose to abstain from summary eviction proceedings and landlord tenant disputes in general on the principles of comity and federalism as to hear these cases would not only overburden the federal system but would also completely emasculate the state structure for dealing with such disputes.”[28]

         New River presented the same argument in their Motion for Remand in 17-cv-303.[29] In the Report and Recommendation, [30] which this Court adopted, [31] the Magistrate Judge stated, “district courts in Louisiana have on multiple occasions considered whether federal diversity jurisdiction may be exercised in removed eviction proceedings based on consideration of the value of the right of possession.”[32] The Magistrate Judge concluded the Report and Recommendation by holding, “Given this court's duty to adjudicate controversies over which it has original subject matter jurisdiction, and Plaintiffs' failure to provide controlling authority requiring this court to abstain from exercising such jurisdiction, abstention here would be inappropriate [].”[33] Given that the parties, factual background, and legal arguments in the present motion are identical to those previously addressed in the Report and Recommendation in 17-cv-303, [34] a related proceeding, [35]the Court finds no reason to deviate from the its previous determination that it maintains jurisdiction over this case and controversy. Accordingly, the Defendants' 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss is DENIED.

         D. Defendants' 12(b)(6) Argument

         The Defendants argue that New River's suit should be dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) because:

[…] Petitioner has failed to make the extraordinary showing to justify a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction because he has not established: a likelihood of success on the merits of his claim; there is a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of his claim; there is a substantial threat that failure to grant the injunction will result in irreparable injury; the threatened injury outweighs any damage that the injunction will cause the adverse party; and the injunction will not adversely affect the public interest.[36]

         Defendants have provided no jurisprudential support for their argument that a petitioner who fails to secure a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction should also have their petition for a permanent injunction dismissed pursuant to 12(b)(6). To survive a 12(b)(6) motion New River need only plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”[37] Evaluating the sufficiency of a complaint on a 12(b)(6) motion is not “a fact-based question of law”.[38] On a 12(b)(6) motion the Court may only determine if there is a sufficient factual basis for the relief sought, in this instance a permanent injunction following a trial on the merits.

         In 53 paragraphs New River details Defendants' actions which it alleges violates their lease agreement.[39] The Court must accept these facts as true.[40] Specifically, New River alleges that Defendants seek the invalidation of their lease to “eliminate the middle man so that Defendants could receive higher rents directly from New River's sublessees.”[41] These allegations state a plausible claim under Louisiana Civil Code Article 1997 (bad faith breach of an obligation), [42] and Louisiana's abuse of rights doctrine.[43] In addition to monetary damages, New River seeks a permanent injunction following a trial on the merits.[44] Under Louisiana jurisprudence a permanent injunction may be awarded, “to prevent the occurrence of actions in the future which are unlawful or injurious and pose irreparable injury.”[45] New River's factual allegations state a plausible claim of a future violation of a lawful lease, and Louisiana jurisprudence provides for permanent injunctive relief in such a circumstance. Accordingly, the 12(b)(6) Motion shall be DENIED.

         III. CONCLUSION

         For the reasons stated above, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.